Winter Sale (Soldes)

soldesParis only has two sanctioned sales during the year — in January and February just after the Christmas break and in July just before the August holiday.  The winter sale is in full swing through February 19, with many stores now in their second and third markdown.  Unlike sales in the U.S., stores are open mostly during normal hours, except have extended days open on a few Sundays.  While it seems impossible, French law only allows sales during this time period, otherwise stores must get permission from the police to hold discounted sales outside this time period.  The theory behind this is that this protects the small mom and pop shops from heavy discounting by the major giants, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, but, in reality, this is a way to preserve price protection and state sanctioned price parity among retailers. Read More »

Black Truffle Season In Paris

WP_20150123_019Winter season may be viewed as a lowlight for fresh harvests from the earth, but the most prized and expensive bounty is cultivated from December through early February — the black truffle.  More expensive than caviar, black truffles sell for over 1,000 Euros a kilo, fine restaurants share, for a short period of time this special treat — but expect to pay high prices for enjoying black truffles on the menu.  Black truffles are especially popular with foie gras, risotto and simply with eggs (in an omlette).  Just about any restaurant worth its salt has a special black truffle dish on the menu.

Some of our favorite places to find black truffles in Paris are:

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Lingerie Boutiques In Paris — Popular As The Baguette

There are a few things you will quickly notice about Paris:  a boulangerie on just about every block, a pharmacy on every other block, and upscale lingerie boutiques displaying their seductive wares as commonly as a baguette.  Unlike Victoria’s Secret, which appeals as strongly to men clientele as women, the lingerie boutiques are decidedly for women.  Indeed, men rarely step into these boutiques, and are usually shoved out the door given they simply have no clue what to buy.  And while Valentine’s Day may create some churn in business, let’s face it — these shops are busy all year round.  Now with the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, visiting Paris and these boutiques you will also see where the book and film got their inspiration. Read More »

Valentine’s Day in Paris

IMGP0527.JPGParis will always be a city synonymous with love, for most of us it’s the first place we come to when thinking of the perfect destination for a romantic break. This does mean however that many other couples will have the same idea of visiting The City of Light over the 14th February, so it’s important to plan ahead. If you are flying into Paris, certain airlines, like Air France may offer special deals on airfares over the Valentine’s weekend to encourage visitors, but do make sure you shop around for the best deal.

Once there an abundance of romantic things to do lie at your fingertips, here are some of the best to help you plan that perfect Valentine’s Day in Paris. Read More »

Recycling Christmas Trees In Paris

christmas-tree-recycling-sign-paris.jpgWith the Christmas season at its end, Parisians must now discard millions of Christmas trees tucked away in their apartments, which is no small task for a city of over 2 million people (11 million plus including the suburbs).  Paris, however, is innovative at many things, including the recycling of its Christmas trees.  The city establishes multiple recycling areas at parks throughout the city — one of our favorite places being at Place Rodin in the 16th Arrondissement, which includes an orginal Rodin sculpture at the roundabout.  But how do people discard of their trees, especially when they live four or five floors up in a tall apartment building?  Read More »

Ice Skating in Paris

What better way to experience the beauty of Paris in the winter than ice skating?  Several venues in Paris offer ice skating, either for a low fee or even for free.  The primary venue is located at Hotel de Ville.
Every year this rink is packed with local Parisians, as well as, tourists who want to experience this winter activity beside the historical beauty of Hotel de Ville.  Open December 20 through March 1.  Skate rentals are only 5 Euros.  Metro: Hotel de Ville.  Other venues are on the Champs de Mars 9right below the Eiffel Tower) and Le Grand Palais.